Veteran of the Psychic Wars


Every time I hear that old BOC song ‘Veteran of the Psychic Wars’ I think ‘that’s me… that song’s about me… I’m a veteran of the psychic wars…’ It gets me like that every time! That’s my song I think, that song was written for me, only there’s a part of me now as I write this thinking that maybe I’m not really a veteran of the psychic wars at all. Maybe I’m just fucked up. Maybe it’s as simple as that. Maybe it’s only in my head that I’m some kind of a hero. You see I’d like to think that there’s something good, something worthwhile that came out of all the horrors that I have been through. Some kind of redeeming factor… But is there? Am I just fooling myself?


I really would like to salvage some bit of self-respect – as I’m sure you can appreciate it’s unbelievably bad news when you can’t salvage any self-respect at all. Maybe you have had an experience of that. Then again maybe you haven’t. Maybe some people never lose all of their self-respect. I don’t know. But anyway I can tell you it’s a bad one. It’s a very bitter pill to swallow. You have to swallow it because there’s no choice but it doesn’t exactly go down easily. It’s the kind of thing you tend to choke on. You see what I’m trying to say is that it’s not enough simply to survive, one way or another. There’s no kudos in that. To simply survive something is not necessarily evidence of being a hero. To simply endure the psychic wars is not to be a veteran, if you take my meaning. I endured them alright – I both served in and survived the psychic wars. There’s no doubt about that. I could tell you a few stories alright – some very dark and grim stories. Stuff you couldn’t make up. You wouldn’t know how to make it up. You wouldn’t meet many people that could tell you stories like these I can tell you, and yet the mere fact that I endured – in whatever ignominious or helpless fashion – so as to be able to tell the tale, so to speak, does not make me a veteran. Not in the true sense of the word. Not in any meaningful sense of the word.


One part of me says that this does make me a veteran of the psychic wars. One part of me likes to believe this. That I am a true veteran just like in the BOC song. ‘You see me now a veteran of a thousand psychic wars’, say the lyrics. As perhaps you know. I relate to these lyrics. I identify with them. You could say that they tell my story in a way I never could. They validate what I have been through. That’s what one part of me believes, anyway. The part that needs validation. The part that wants so badly to salvage at least a little bit of self-respect. The part of me that doesn’t want to admit how fucked-up it all was. The part of me that doesn’t want to admit that this shit happened…


If it actually did happen, that is. I know some people (especially those working in the field of mental health) would say that none of it was real, that I was too long smoking Jimson weed, or making tea out of dried amanita skins, or chewing Hawaiian baby woodrose seeds, or whatever. Experimenting with telepathy and astral projection and all that kind of stuff. They try to make me believe that it didn’t happen and that I was just mentally unwell and at times I can’t help suspecting that they’re right. I am swayed by the crushing weight of everyone else’s opinion. But then at other times I find myself owning my experience. Not letting other people take it away from me (which they would do in a flash if I gave them half a chance). At such times as these, when I come back to myself and own my personal experiences then I know that it was all real no matter what they say. I just know it. It doesn’t matter what they say. I know that it actually did happen and that I really am a veteran of the psychic wars…






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